There were four films on the schedule, but we only made it to two of them; we were just too tired to go out for the evening movies.
A documentary about the acclaimed Alert Bay artists Beau Dick. While well-known for his carvings of masks, the film also highlights his activism on behalf of First Nations and the environment.
The City Before the City
This film documents the struggles of the Musqueam First Nation in their fight to gain control over their ancestral lands through the area now claimed by the City of Vancouver (and parts of the Greater Vancouver Regional District) and particularly over an area where ancestral remains were discovered prior to the building of a condo development. A 200-day vigil was held at the site in 2011; I am ashamed that I don’t remember hearing anything about this.
Although we were preparing for a House Concert tonight I had time to slip away for a bit this afternoon for a movie.
Set in Vancouver we meet a Chinese couple, their daughter and her family as they gather to celebrate the husband’s 65th birthday. We soon learn there is an estranged son but we never meet him. When Maria discovers her husband, Bing, is having an affair the rest of the film deals with how she evolves from a loyal Chinese wife and mother to a woman who is a friend to her neighbours and discovers how to follow her own path. One comment in the film describes the “box” she was in at the beginning of the film – when we are young we have to obey our fathers, then when we marry we must obey our husbands. When our husband’s die we must obey our sons.
Of course I’d heard of Django Reinhardt many times, and I’ve heard his style of music in concert from many of our performers. It was nice to have a bit of background story to the struggles he had on his way to fame. Being a Roma during the Second World War put Django in a difficult position; if he didn’t perform as he was told to there would be consequences but if he refused to perform the consequences would be just as serious.
The Divine Order
I always think of Switzerland as being a very modern country but it wasn’t until 1971 that women, through a referendum voted on by only the men, won the right to vote. This movie tells the story of one woman’s fight to gain equality with her husband (she wants to take a job but can’t unless her husband agrees), and the advocacy movement she started in her small town. In the beginning there were only three women willing to stand up to their men, but by the time they decided to go on strike their numbers had ballooned.
I didn’t enjoy the opening movie of the 2018 Film Festival. Although I accept that this is a way of life for many, it certainly wasn’t my idea of entertainment. The kids are cute and their acting was impressive. At the beginning of the film they were kind of cute, but they soon became obnoxious. But they can’t be blamed once you see their mostly irresponsible mothers.
The story follows three kids and their mothers who live at a motel near The Magic Kingdom in Florida. They run free most of their days and get up to a lot of “no good”, as does one parent in particular. William Dafoe plays the motel manager and, for me, he was pretty much the saving grace in the film – his character really seemed to care about his “guests”.
I’m so glad we didn’t miss this film. I would usually shy away from a movie with Woody Harrelson but here he is playing a very sympathetic character and he is quite charming in the role. It’s been a long time since we saw Frances McDormand in a movie and she, too, is great. Although the subject matter isn’t fun, the dialogue and characters had us laughing in moments that were inappropriate – it doesn’t get better than that!